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World-renowned artist Adam Dant is putting independent East End businesses firmly on the map.

East End Trades Guild founding member Nevio Pellicci chose Adam Dant as the artist for this year's map of East End Trades Guild members. The charming map of East London’s independent businesses is hand-drawn and coloured with Indian ink and gouache. 20,000 of the maps have been printed by Calverts Coop in time for East End Independents' Weekend, an event celebrating authentic, local and historic small businesses.

The highly collectible maps will be given out to customers by businesses participating in the weekend on 1- 3 December, encompassing Small Business Saturday. 

Small image of the East End Trades Guild 2017 map by Adam Dant

Adam, who’s passionate about supporting local businesses, met with members of the East End Trades Guild at their Bastille Day Summer Social and listened to their stories. He said: “It was very moving. They are championing ‘independent’ in a world where the corporates are taking over the high street.

“The map is a panorama of the East End and what makes it tick, from mechanics and traditional trades to up to the minute trades – there’s a whole range. It’s like a Trompe L’oeil noticeboard: when you go into a garage and there’s a noticeboard with stuff pinned on; keys, receipts, photos, and invoices. Using a corkboard effect and layering maps and pictures on top was a good solution when we had so many parts of the East End to feature.”

The map was commissioned by the East End Trades Guild, which is organising East End Indie Weekend, with support from the Local Buyers Club (a new club offering discounts at dozens of London’s local independent businesses).  The work was funded by Hackney and Tower Hamlets Councils and was produced in partnership with city map experts Herb Lester.

 Adam Dant, Anna & Nevio Pellicci, and Krissie Nicholson

Dant, who has lived in the East End for 24 years, has been hailed as a ‘modern day Hogarth’ and is a winner of the Jerwood Drawing Prize. He was appointed the House of Common’s Official Artist of the General Election in 2015. His work features in the Victoria and Albert Museum, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and many other international galleries. Prince Charles is a private collector of Dant’s work.

His artworks typically chronicle London life and are often satirical and witty views of contemporary culture.  

Asked how long the map had taken to create, Adam said: “Bloody ages! It involved lots of research and many meetings. There are so many entries, I’ve had to work out how to place all these businesses so the high streets and some of the architecture is visible.”

Among the shopping areas taking part are Well Street & Victoria Park, Columbia Road, Broadway Market and London Fields, Roman Road, Spitalfields, Shoreditch, Brick Lane, and Bethnal Green.  There’ll be a special Instagram treasure hunt over the weekend with prizes donated by EETG members. For customers to win one of five impressive hampers they simply need to:

  1. Photograph five different blue plaques that will be inside our members premises on 1-3 December
  2. Post the photos on Instagram, tagging @east_end_trades_guild and the name of the business where they found the blue plaque

 Names will be drawn from a hat the following week and winners will be notified via Instagram.

The map features iconic East End businesses such as F. Cooke Pie & Mash, the Brick Lane Beigel Bake, Ally Capellino, Tatty Devine, Blackhorse Lane Ateliers, and many more.

For a full list of the businesses taking part in East End Indie Weekend, or for more information, visit: www.eastendtradesguild.org.uk

For further information, please contact Krissie Nicolson: 07910 966738. 

Photograph credit: Sarah Ainslie

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